Top 5 criteria for choosing the best name for your start-up

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Nowadays, launching a start-up has become a very popular choice for building a new career. Usually, when you launch a start-up, you have a lot of hopes and ambitions of changing something important in the world. A lot of new start-ups are created in the technology area and there many examples of start-ups which have succeeded to become large and powerful companies.

Choosing the name for your start-up is, for sure, an important decision. Unfortunately, the founders of start-ups are treating the name as not an essential task. “It’s only a name, important is what you do”.

But remember, what you do and all you are planning right now, in two years from now may be completely different. Instead, the name usually remains. And if you must change it, it may cost you a lot.

From this article, you will find out the 5 most important criteria for choosing the best name for your start-up. Let’s do it right from the starting point:

  1. Too descriptive names for your general long-term vision

Especially when we are talking about technology start-ups (but it’s not the only case), the founders tend to choose to descriptive names which will narrow it down the other development ways of the company. When you start a new business, usually you are focused only on one highlight product or service. People are not taking into consideration the potential of introducing more products and more services in the future, which may be connected or not with the starting plan of the new business.

 Let’s imagine that somebody plans to start a fragrances business. He’s working on a product range of 5 fragrances and, for now, he’s sure that he will produce only fragrances for women. So, the business name may be “Humberto’s Ladies Fragrances”. Humberto has a lot of success with his fragrances and after 2 years he decides to launch a new line with men’s fragrances and an entire cosmetics product line. What about Humberto’s Ladies Fragrances? How does it feel a man to buy a fragrance from a company which has the brand name strictly related to women? And do you really trust in a new cosmetics product which has a name related with fragrances only?

The conclusion here is the following: If you are completely and sure that your start-up will never and ever do something else besides what you are doing right now, you may choose a descriptive name for it. But if you have any doubt regarding your long-term vision, even if you don’t know for sure what your objectives are for the future, escape from the “descriptive zone”. Choose a suggestive, metaphorical or invented name which will allow you further developments of your business.

  1. .com web domain obsession

If you are not in the web field, it’s probably that your hopes regarding obtaining a clean and perfect match .com web domain are high. We have met people who really hope to obtain web domains like: Insurance.com, Clothes.com or Cosmetics.com. In fact, the situation with the .com web domains is bad right now.

How bad? You may read in this article which are the price scores for some web domains.

You must know that all the three and four letters combinations are already taken on .com. All the words existent in the English dictionary are taken. If you are really obsessed on obtaining a short .com web domain, you must know that your naming process will be a lot more difficult. You may lose a lot of naming options which may be suitable for you and instead of that, our hint is to search for an invented name.

  1. Too personal start-up names

On the first point, we’ve told you about too descriptive start-up names. The opposite situation is with too personal business names.

In many cases, the founder or the founders decide to name their start-up by using a personal experience/person/animal/place from their lives. Especially, when we are talking about people who have no experience in a larger marketing department, it seems normal to name your business after you or using your own personal memories just because…it’s their business.

Agree with that. It’s your business, but it’s not your personal hobby. It’s a start-up which will serve (hopefully) a lot of clients. The main interest must be to find a name which they can feel related with. And your personal life, your cat’s name, your place of birth is not an interest point for them.

  1. Trademark? Don’t know. Don’t care.

There are a lot of people who are starting a new business and they have never thought about registering as a trademark their brand name. Why is that?

  • “We are too small. Who cares about our name?”
  • “We have other things more important to do which deserve our financial investments.”
  • “I have named my company with this name. We are protected.”
  • “It is not such an important thing. Maybe, we’ll do it later when we will grow.”

Let us tell now what may happen if you will wait too long because “it does not matter right now”.

  • The name is already registered by somebody else and you will not be able to register it as a trademark. After investing a lot of money in branding, promotion, marketing, sales and after all your clients have become familiar with your name.
  • Somebody else already owns your brand name. If you are lucky, they will nicely ask you to rename your business. If you are not lucky, they will sue you and you will pay a lot of money for this mistake.

Do you want a real example?

At the end of the ‘90s, a new Romanian cybersecurity product, an antivirus was ready to be launched in US. It was named AVX. The web domain www.avx.com was bought by the founders. The product was wonderful, and they were ready to “boom” the American market. One day they have received an official letter from a huge American company, listed on New York Stock Exchange, with 10.000 employees on three continents and sales of $1.5 billion. They were asking AVX to stop all the marketing promotions and sales under the name AVX due to trademark infringement. The founders have thought that if they own the web domain www.avx.com and if they have registered the mark in Romania they must be fully protected.

Final result?

More than $150.000 spent on this trial. They have decided to stop these losses and to rename the product in Bitdefender. Besides the trial’s costs, they had also many renaming and rebranding investments to make in this process. And this is how the cybersecurity giant Bitdefender has been founded.

This is a real story about how a trademark issue may prejudice your company if you are not willing to make things right from the start.

Naming may be a cheap and easy task if you decide to do it right. Renaming is a lot more difficult and way more expensive. Register your start-up name as a trademark from the starting point of your business!

  1. Empowering the name with a perfect tagline

Many start-up founders are completely ignoring the power of a good tagline which may have the force of sharing to the target audience what the start-up is willing to do on long term. People are choosing too descriptive start-up names because they don’t know how to use the force of a suitable tagline. You may read more about this subject in this article.

Remember that a perfect tagline combined with the perfect start-up name can reveal the most important things about your new business, in only a few words.

Don’t forget to create a tagline after you have decided about your brand’s name.

The name of your future start-up is very important. Like we are always saying, the name is probably the only one thing which will remain the same…forever and ever. Treat it as it deserves: Like a thing which has only one shot to be done right.

If you need help with your future start-up’s name, write us more about your business here:

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